When my ex boyfriend died by suicide I was sent into a gigantic tailspin of emotions, as expected. At fifteen you are supposed to be worried about school dances, playing in this weeks big game or if you should try to get a cash pay job to help save for a car. Instead I was trying to find something to numb the feelings of grief as we buried the boy that I was building my entire life around. That boy was supposed to be my happy ever after, my end game. Instead, we were picking out caskets. His family was amazing for letting me be a part of everything after he died, from reading at the funeral to helping clean out his room. I got to be there as they spoke of memories over and over from him growing up. There was something that I was able to do though and it is something that bothers me to this day.
Twenty years later and I am still battling for closure.
What I have learned is that I am now extremely fierce with making sure that I have closure in every other part of my life. I will cut people off with no chance of me talking to them again when I notice that we are struggling too hard to keep going. When someone does wrong by me, it’s done. No conversation needed. I am well aware there is an extreme level of bitch here but I can’t seem to soften the edges. I need the closure more then I care how bitchy I come off.
I sit sometimes trying to decide what I would need from my ex to get the closure I feel I need. The reason he felt he needed to end everything is clearly at the top of that list but there is more.
Why couldn’t he confide in me? Why couldn’t he see past the things going on at that point? Did he honestly believe that we would be better off without him? Why wasn’t I enough? Did I miss the signs?
I have dedicated twenty years to reading into mental health struggles, tactics, and roads to recovery. I will never question that things go deeper than anyone can understand. I fully understand that it is impossible to answer those questions most the time. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to ask. I think more and more about comments he said to me over the years, wondering if he was trying to get me to see it. It makes me over analyze words coming from people around me, especially my children. One of his hardest problems in life was an incredibly opinionated, overly strict parent. This leads me to pull back when I go for the bad cop approach with all of my kids, nieces and nephews. He struggled with learning disabilities that went under the radar and I feel like I am super quick to suggest to people that bad behavior may stem from a learning disorder the child is embarrassed about. I never realized that it may have stemmed from that until my therapist said something. There are so many other things that I notice could directly stem from him, or even the recovery of him, that I can’t help but smile.
Here he thought that he was trouble and we would all be better off without him, but over twenty years from when we buried him and he still influences decisions that I make now. Those influences keep me working to make sure that everyone around me lives a slightly better life then they would have without me in it. Not being egotistic in the slightest, just meaning that I work to make sure they smile as often as possible all while knowing someone is here looking out for them. Through anything. I will talk openly, as honest as I can, without holding judgement to them when they struggle.
I, of course, will judge a little if they choose to wear socks with sandals. 🙂
I like to think that he know’s he deserves the credit. I know for a fact that his family members are all on similar missions, with similar reasons.